Water conversation

It is easy to say – “conserve water” and lately, everyone seems to be saying it! We had several Nags disturbing us by distributing pamphlets about conserving water. Aiming that crumpled pamphlet to the waste basket, I used to wonder “Why are they wasting paper in the name of saving water? ” After hearing Nags blaming the government, I had resigned to the notion that “water conservation” is an issue that the government should take care of. It looked like the world is conspiring to make me feel guilty of wasting water, when I saw posters everywhere in my office imploring me to save water. But, am I wasting water? I was not too sure if I was.

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One cannot imagine having a life without a lazy shower everyday, a weekly visit to the swimming pool and a rain dance during Hold festival. Having been paying for the water used in all these times, I never worried about how it was sourced, till my shower stopped half way through the bath. My shouting and howling prompted my room mate to do some RCA who came up with the result saying “They say the water tank is empty’. On further drill-down, we learnt that some “happy-go-lucky’ soul in the building had left for work leaving his bathroom tap open. The caretaker said that the next tanker with water would come only the next day.

This led us to discovering the nearest well where we learnt the painful process of collecting water. I felt the pain of not having water for the first time. However, I never really decided to do anything about it except planning to give “the guy responsible” a piece of my mind. Being from Kraal, I used to brag about the abundance of beauty and natural resources in the state. I believed that, in Kraal, the problem is that we have it aplenty. But the real problem was that I never read the newspapers! Visiting a friend from the hilly areas, I realized that they source water from about 10 kilometers away. The stories they said were worse.

There are areas where tanker-lorries cannot reach and therefore, people carry it over 10 SMS! Soon, the problems related to scarcity of water became more and more obvious to me. A friend of mine from Achaean mentioned that he is spending over RSI. 3000/- per month for water. I looked around and heard people from every metropolitan city tell me similar stories. The newspapers were already playing it up. Reports pointed out receding levels of ground water. Weekly magazines told us stories about how people suffer because of scarcity of water. Pictures appeared, depicting the crisis not just from India but from all over the world.

Then crazy stories started coming out. Australia which is a country with really low water levels has stringent controls over use of water. To wash their cars, they have to take it to a commercial car-washing place where the amount of water to be used per car is stipulated. Remember the movie – Gods Must Be Crazy? The movie unwittingly tells us the same story where the Shoo tribe inhalator Desert extracts water from trees as there is no ground water around. This was issue which was all around me but I never realized it till me and my people around were affected. All around me, experts predicted of a bleak future if we do not save water.

Use less water for taking a shower Old toilet cisterns can use as much as 9 liters of clean water every flush. Reduce this by placing a ‘save-a-flush’ or ‘hippo’ in the cistern. • Use the minimum amount of water required when you boil water in saucepans and kettles; that way, you’ll save energy as well as water. • Try keeping a bottle or Jug of water in the fridge instead of running taps until the water runs cold. • Use the correct amount of water for the garden etc. Etc etc. Hearing and reading through such tips, I was sure that I was not going to do it in reality.

They were all too much trouble and all came with a tangible cost. But then I came across a few tips that I found interesting. Turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth and shaving. I was sure they had seen me brushing my teeth or shaving. • Use a bowl to wash vegetables than running water. What about Kiwifruit! • Make sure all the taps around you are closed when no one is using them. Now I have some work to do in office! • Avoid flushing toilets unnecessarily.. Splashing water on the face is refreshing. But you could wash the face and get the same feeling. But, all of us know that, most of these are Just good for reading.

Most of he populace is too busy to implement any of these points. Even those who implement it find its sustenance a big challenge. Are there no simple methods of saving water? I have realized that there are. There are two simple and painless steps that would give us the satisfaction of doing out bit to conserving water. They are: • A conscious effort from us to be aware of the amount of water that we use for our daily chores. The results will be surprising. Just like that we do for money, if we keep a watch on the amount of water that we use every day, we will automatically be saving eater.

And the best thing is that we won’t realize it! • Advocate the conservation of water and most importantly, not criticize it. After all, prudent use of anything is the way to self discipline. However, there are a few areas where we should not be stingy in using water. One of them is drinking water. And a word of caution – mixing spirits with water is not a way of saving water. We do not have to be an Arnold or a Bruce Willis to save the world. Just being aware of what we do is the best way. Let water conservation be the start and everything else will fall in place.

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